Don’t Let Scammers Ruin Your Vacation

Posted on 03/4/2014 by | AARP Colorado | Comments

Definition of fraudWe often dream about taking the perfect vacation, but scammers can turn those dreams into nightmares. Here are some travel-related scams to watch out for:

Free Airline Tickets: you receive an email or a letter from a company that appears to be a legitimate airline, claiming that you’ve won two free roundtrip tickets. But to claim your “free” tickets, you must attend a seminar where high-pressure sales tactics are used to talk you into paying for membership in a travel club. In other instances, the free ticket offer is a phishing scam used to solicit your personal information.

Vacation Rentals: you search online for an apartment or a home for rent in your vacation destination and find a nice rental at a very low price. The “renter” requests that you wire a deposit for the rental. When you arrive at the property, you discover that it either doesn’t exist or is not for rent, and you’re left with no place to stay and no way to get back the deposit money you sent.

Timeshare Resales: you’ve been looking to sell that timeshare you no longer use and you think you’re in luck when you receive a phone call from a company saying they have a guaranteed buyer for your property. You wire them some upfront fees to begin the transaction, but your timeshare is never sold and you can no longer reach the company.

To avoid these travel-related scams:

  • Be wary of upfront fees
  • Read the fine print of any offer, sales contract or rental agreement
  • Check the company out through a third-party like the Better Business Bureau.
matiilda 5pts

This timeshare fraud is increasing fast. The typical scheme involves a cold call from a timeshare broker claiming to have a buyer willing to pay big bucks. People are entice to get money and the timeshare out of their monthly expenses. The con man asks for upfront fees to complete the transaction, if they hear again from him is only to request for more money.

ss1927 5pts

We were in the mountains for several days--got 3 phone calls in 4 days about a problem with our Microsoft Windows:  2 calls from "Mike"; one from "Joe."  English was not their first language.  I just told them we didn't have Windows and hung up.